By CHARINA CLARISSE L. ECHALUCE
Amid the dengue vaccine controversy, the Department of Health (DoH) called on the public not to avoid the government immunization programs.
Health Undersecretary Herminigildo Valle said there is no reason for parents not to complete the vaccine shots being given to their children under the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) of the government.
“Other vaccines are clearly beneficial. [The DoH] continue to recommend them,” said Valle.
He stressed that vaccines against measles, chicken pox, dipthteria, tetanus, and influenza, among others “have been well established for a long time already.
He warned that avoiding such vaccines would only endanger the lives of more children.
“It will increase the risk of contracting serious vaccine preventable diseases,” the official said.
Other vaccines provided by the DoH under the EPI are those against tuberculosis, hepatitis B, polio, meningitis, mumps, measles, pneumonia, and tetanus.
It can be recalled that parents began to panic following Sanofi Pasteur’s announcement about its vaccine Dengvaxia, which was used in the government’s mass immunization program. Over 830,000 children received at least one dose.
“The analysis confirmed that Dengvaxia provides persistent protective benefit against dengue fever in those who had prior infection…. For those not previously infected by dengue virus, however, the analysis found that in the longer term, more cases of severe disease could occur following vaccination upon a subsequent dengue infection,” Sanofi said in a statement.